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Chirwa S.,Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia
Global health promotion | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVE: To make a rapid assessment of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding the causes of cervical cancer and lack of screening among unscreened low-income Zambian women. METHODS: We initiated a door-to-door community-based initiative, led by peer educators, to inform unscreened women about the existence of a new see-and-treat cervical cancer prevention program. During home visits peer educators posed the following two questions to women: 1. What do you think causes cervical cancer? 2. Why haven't you been screened for cervical cancer? The most frequent types of responses gathered in this exercise were analyzed thematically. RESULTS: Peer educators contacted over 1100 unscreened women over a period of two months. Their median age was 33 years, a large majority (58%) were not educated beyond primary school, over two-thirds (71%) did not have monthly incomes over 500,000 Zambian Kwacha (US$100) per month, and just over half (51%) were married and cohabiting with their spouses. Approximately 75% of the women engaged in discussions had heard of cervical cancer and had heard of the new cervical cancer prevention program in the local clinic. The responses of unscreened low-income Zambian women to questions posed by peer educators in urban Lusaka reflect the variety of prevalent 'folk' myths and misconceptions surrounding cervical cancer and its prevention methods. CONCLUSION: The information in our rapid assessment can serve as a basis for developing future educational and intervention campaigns for improving uptake of cervical cancer prevention services in Zambia. It also speaks to the necessity of ensuring that programs addressing women's reproductive health take into account societal inputs at the time they are being developed and implemented. Taking a community-based participatory approach to program development and implementation will help ensure sustainability and impact. Source

Stringer J.S.,Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia
PLoS medicine | Year: 2013

Population-based evaluations of programs for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) are scarce. We measured PMTCT service coverage, regimen use, and HIV-free survival among children ≤24 mo of age in Cameroon, Côte D'Ivoire, South Africa, and Zambia. We randomly sampled households in 26 communities and offered participation if a child had been born to a woman living there during the prior 24 mo. We tested consenting mothers with rapid HIV antibody tests and tested the children of seropositive mothers with HIV DNA PCR or rapid antibody tests. Our primary outcome was 24-mo HIV-free survival, estimated with survival analysis. In an individual-level analysis, we evaluated the effectiveness of various PMTCT regimens. In a community-level analysis, we evaluated the relationship between HIV-free survival and community PMTCT coverage (the proportion of HIV-exposed infants in each community that received any PMTCT intervention during gestation or breastfeeding). We also compared our community coverage results to those of a contemporaneous study conducted in the facilities serving each sampled community. Of 7,985 surveyed children under 2 y of age, 1,014 (12.7%) were HIV-exposed. Of these, 110 (10.9%) were HIV-infected, 851 (83.9%) were HIV-uninfected, and 53 (5.2%) were dead. HIV-free survival at 24 mo of age among all HIV-exposed children was 79.7% (95% CI: 76.4, 82.6) overall, with the following country-level estimates: Cameroon (72.6%; 95% CI: 62.3, 80.5), South Africa (77.7%; 95% CI: 72.5, 82.1), Zambia (83.1%; 95% CI: 78.4, 86.8), and Côte D'Ivoire (84.4%; 95% CI: 70.0, 92.2). In adjusted analyses, the risk of death or HIV infection was non-significantly lower in children whose mothers received a more complex regimen of either two or three antiretroviral drugs compared to those receiving no prophylaxis (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.60; 95% CI: 0.34, 1.06). Risk of death was not different for children whose mothers received a more complex regimen compared to those given single-dose nevirapine (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.45, 1.72). Community PMTCT coverage was highest in Cameroon, where 75 of 114 HIV-exposed infants met criteria for coverage (66%; 95% CI: 56, 74), followed by Zambia (219 of 444, 49%; 95% CI: 45, 54), then South Africa (152 of 365, 42%; 95% CI: 37, 47), and then Côte D'Ivoire (3 of 53, 5.7%; 95% CI: 1.2, 16). In a cluster-level analysis, community PMTCT coverage was highly correlated with facility PMTCT coverage (Pearson's r = 0.85), and moderately correlated with 24-mo HIV-free survival (Pearson's r = 0.29). In 14 of 16 instances where both the facility and community samples were large enough for comparison, the facility-based coverage measure exceeded that observed in the community. HIV-free survival can be estimated with community surveys and should be incorporated into ongoing country monitoring. Facility-based coverage measures correlate with those derived from community sampling, but may overestimate population coverage. The more complex regimens recommended by the World Health Organization seem to have measurable public health benefit at the population level, but power was limited and additional field validation is needed. Source

Stringer E.M.,Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia
Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2011

Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate the rates and determinants of stillbirth in an urban African obstetric population. Methods:In this retrospective cohort study, we reviewed vital outcomes of newborns whose mothers received antenatal care, delivery care, or both antenatal and delivery care in the Lusaka, Zambia, public sector between February 2006 and March 2009. We excluded newborns weighing less than 1,000 g, those whose mothers died before delivery, and those born outside Lusaka. Rssults: There were 100,454 deliveries that met criteria for inclusion. The median maternal age at the initial visit was 24 years (interquartile range 21-29) and the median gestational age was 22 weeks (interquartile range 19-26). The median gestational age at birth was 38 weeks (interquartile range 36-40), and the median neonatal birth weight was 3,000 g (interquartile range 2,750-3,300). A total of 2,109 fetuses were stillborn (crude rate, 21 per 1,000 live births, 95% confidence interval 20.1 per 1,000 to 21.9 per 1,000). This included 1,049 (49.7%) stillbirths classified as "recent" (presumed to have occurred within 12 hours of delivery) and 1,060 (50.3%) classified as "macerated" (presumed to have occurred more than 12 hours before delivery). In adjusted analysis, increasing maternal age, baseline body mass index greater than 26, history of stillbirth, placental abruption, maternal untreated syphilis, cesarean delivery, operative vaginal delivery, assisted breech delivery, and extremes of neonatal birth weight were all significantly associated with stillbirth. CONCLUSION:: Stillbirth is a major contributor to poor perinatal outcomes in Lusaka. Many deaths appear avoidable through investment in antenatal screening and better labor monitoring. Stillbirth should be adopted as a routine health indicator by the World Health Organization. © 2011 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Source

Delany-Moretlwe S.,University of Witwatersrand | Cowan F.M.,CeSHHAR | Cowan F.M.,University College London | Busza J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2015

Introduction: Adolescence is a time of physical, emotional and social transitions that have implications for health. In addition to being at high risk for HIV, young key populations (YKP) may experience other health problems attributable to high-risk behaviour or their developmental stage, or a combination of both. Methods: We reviewed the needs, barriers and gaps for other non-HIV health services for YKP.We searched PubMed and Google Scholar for articles that provided specific age-related data on sexual and reproductive health; mental health; violence; and substance use problems for adolescent, youth or young sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, and people who inject drugs. Results: YKP experience more unprotected sex, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, unintended pregnancy, violence, mental health disorders and substance use compared to older members of key populations and youth among the general population. YKP experience significant barriers to accessing care; coverage of services is low, largely because of stigma and discrimination experienced at both the health system and policy levels. Discussion: YKP require comprehensive, integrated services that respond to their specific developmental needs, including health, educational and social services within the context of a human rights-based approach. The recent WHO Consolidated Guidelines on HIV Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Care for Key Populations are an important first step for a more comprehensive approach to HIV programming for YKP, but there are limited data on the effective delivery of combined interventions for YKP. Significant investments in research and implementation will be required to ensure adequate provision and coverage of services for YKP. In addition, greater commitments to harm reduction and rights-based approaches are needed to address structural barriers to access to care. ©Delany-Moretlwe S et al; licensee International AIDS Society. Source

Chi B.H.,Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia | Chi B.H.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Stringer J.S.A.,Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia | Stringer J.S.A.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Moodley D.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
Current HIV/AIDS Reports | Year: 2013

Considerable advances have been made in the effort to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) in sub-Saharan Africa. Clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of antiretroviral regimens to interrupt HIV transmission through the antenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal periods. Scientific discoveries have been rapidly translated into health policy, bolstered by substantial investment in health infrastructure capable of delivering increasingly complex services. A new scientific agenda is also emerging, one that is focused on the challenges of effective and sustainable program implementation. Finally, global campaigns to "virtually eliminate" pediatric HIV and dramatically reduce HIV-related maternal mortality have mobilized new resources and renewed political will. Each of these developments marks a major step in regional PMTCT efforts; their convergence signals a time of rapid progress in the field, characterized by an increased interdependency between clinical research, program implementation, and policy. In this review, we take stock of recent advances across each of these areas, highlighting the challenges - and opportunities - of improving health services for HIV-infected mothers and their children across the region. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

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